Working Paper BETA #2017-36

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Title : Nudging with heterogeneity in terms of environmental sensitivity : a public goods experiment in networks

Author(s) : Benjamin Ouvrard, Anne Stenger

Abstract : We propose an experiment to test whether the reaction to a nudge implemented in a network depends on the network structure and on the sensitivity of individuals to the environment. After having elicited the sensitivity of subjects to environmental matters, the subjects played a public goods game in a network. The first ten periods served as a baseline. A nudge (announcement of the socially optimal level of investment) was then implemented both under complete information (the content of the nudge takes individuals’ position into account) and under incomplete information (the nudge cannot rely on individuals’ positions). Nudge implementation induces a higher coordination on the social optimum in the circle network for the most sensitive subjects. In the star network, the targeted nudge induces a decrease in the level of investments for the least sensitive subjects. Thus, nudge implementation should target specific individuals in specific network structures.

Key-words : environmental sensitivity; inequity aversion; networks; nudge; public goods experiment.

JEL Classification : C72, C91, H41, Q50.